Pre-Dentistry | Kent State University

Pre-Dentistry

Pre-dentistry

Dentists work to diagnose, treat, and promote the health of their patients' teeth and gums. Students can select from a variety of undergraduate majors before applying to dental school.

Is this career right for you?

  •  Would you prefer to work in a private practice environment and keep traditional business hours?
  • Do you enjoy working with your hands?
  • Do you feel comfortable working with people, even those who are upset or ill at ease?
  •  Do you excel in science and mathematics?

Undergraduate TimelinE

FIRST YEAR

  • Focus on your grades; seek out tutoring or supplemental instruction when needed
  • Join clubs and organizations on campus
  • Attend any introductory pre-health or pre-medicine workshops or events held by departments

SECOND YEAR

  • Meet regularly with your professional and/or faculty advisor(s) in order to verify that you are staying on track with necessary prerequisite coursework; discuss specific pre-health advising questions with your faculty advisor
  • Build a strong relationship not only with your faculty/pre-health advisor, but with other faculty members in your department; consider seeking undergraduate research opportunities with these individuals
  • Continue to pursue strong grades in your courses
  • Seek out volunteer opportunities within the community
  • Begin to shadow physicians and make professional connections in the medical field
  • Pursue leadership opportunities within the clubs/organizations in which you participate

THIRD YEAR

  • Continue to meet with your faculty/pre-health advisor at least once a semester to plan your degree progress and verify that you are completing all necessary medical school prerequisites
  • Verify that your coursework matches the desired prerequisite coursework for the schools you wish to attend; add additional courses as needed
  • Build shadowing experience; also attempt to gain experience working directly with patients, either in a work or volunteer setting
  • Apply to participate in a pre-medicine committee review, if applicable
  • Identify individuals to ask for letters of recommendation; these should come from faculty, pre-health advisor(s) and dentists familiar with your work ethic/ability
  • Continue to seek leadership positions in clubs/organizations on campus, as well as volunteering in your community

FOURTH YEAR

  • Begin submitting application materials between May-July (dependent on the state(s) you plan to apply to schools within)
  • Continue to excel in courses taken in final year
MAJOR

Students are welcome to pursue any major on the path to dental school. While schools require candidates to complete certain prerequisite courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics, students are encouraged to pursue additional courses in subjects of their choice. You do not need to choose a science major to be admitted into dental school.

DEGREE DETAILS

Students earn either the D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or the D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine). Both degrees enable you to work in the same practical capacity and follow the curriculum requirements established by the American Dental Association (ADA).

LENGTH OF PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

Students typically complete dental school in four years. You can either go directly into practice after this or choose to pursue a residency. Residencies are chosen to seek advanced training or to become a specialist and may take between 1-6 years to complete.

PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK
  • Two semesters of biology with lab: BSCI 10110: Biological Diversity and BSCI 10120: Biological Foundations
  • One semester each of Cell Biology, Genetics, Microbiology and Physiology: BSCI 30140: Cell Biology, BSCI 31056: Elements of Genetics, BSCI 30171: General Microbiology, BSCI 40430: Animal Physiology
  • Two semesters of general chemistry with lab: CHEM 10060: General Chemistry I and CHEM 10062: General Chemistry I Lab AND CHEM 10061: General Chemistry II and CHEM 10063: General Chemistry II Lab; OR CHEM 10970: Honors General Chemistry I AND CHEM 10971: Honors General Chemistry II 
  • Two semesters of organic chemistry with lab: CHEM 30481: Organic Chemistry I and CHEM 30475: Organic Chemistry I Lab AND CHEM 30482: Organic Chemistry II and CHEM 30476: Organic Chemistry II Lab; OR CHEM 20481: Basic Organic Chemistry I and CHEM 30475: Organic Chemistry I Lab AND CHEM 20482: Basic Organic Chemistry II and CHEM 30476: Organic Chemistry II Lab
  • Two semesters of physics with lab: PHY 13001: General College Physics I and PHY 13021: General College Physics I Lab AND PHY 13002: General College Physics II and PHY 13022: General College Physics II Lab; OR PHY 23201: General University Physics I AND PHY 23202: General University Physics II
  • One semester of calculus: MATH 12002: Analytic Geometry and Calculus I; OR MATH 12021: Calculus for Life Sciences
  • One semester of statistics: MATH 30011: Basic Probability and Statistics; OR MATH 12022: Probability and Statistics for Life Sciences

Some schools may require additional prerequisite coursework in composition, ethics, economics, psychology, sociology, biochemistry, and/or anatomy. It is important that you check with the schools you plan to apply to in order to take the appropriate coursework for admission.

The Pre-Dentistry advising program catalog requirements can be seen here.

TESTING REQUIREMENTS: DAT

The Dental Admission Test is offered throughout the year at testing sites across the country.  The test covers:

  • Sciences: biology, general and organic chemistry
  • Perceptual ability
  • Reading comprehension
  • Quantitative reasoning
APPLICATION SERVICE
APPLICATION TIMING

Admissions are conducted on a rolling basis. It is recommended that you apply early in the application season, as candidates who do so are typically given preference in the process. The AADSAS opens in early June for the following year’s fall class. The TMDSAS opens in early May for the follow year’s fall class.

Students are encouraged to apply to 9-10 dental schools.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Most schools prefer students to submit a Committee Letter of evaluation. This should accompany additional letters of recommendation from professors and advisors who are familiar with you and your academic performance or accomplishments. It is also recommended that you include at least one letter from a dentist with whom you have worked or shadowed.

PRE-DENTISTRY ADVISING

Pre-Dentistry students should connect with the following individuals for advising:

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS